When installing Ubuntu Server 14.04, am I required to name all my partitions or can I leave the "name:" field blank without running into any problems/confusion now/later? I'm pretty new to the Ubuntu OS, so I'm worried that by naming partitions I might actually end up creating confusion later on.

Does the answer change if I'm setting up a software RAID 1 array?

  • You may label partitions, but are not required to. Not quite sure what you imply by "naming". – mikewhatever Oct 3 '15 at 17:02
  • @mikewhatever - I think "naming" and "labeling" are the same, but I used "name" because the term the installation uses. Not entirely sure, though. – Willman Oct 3 '15 at 17:10
  • Please show a screen shot of what's asking for a "name." I'm not running a new installation just to check this, but the screen shots shown here (in step 7-C) don't include any "name" options for partitioning. Thus, it's unclear to me what's asking for a name. That said, partitions can have names under GPT, and filesystems can have names under any partition table. Neither is critical for Ubuntu, although they can be helpful in some contexts. Mount points, though, are critical. – Rod Smith Oct 5 '15 at 13:44

Naming partitions will make future management easier. It just creates an alias to the mount point, I'm pretty sure. Basically gives the partition mount point that can be called by using an easier to remember name, rather than just a number assignment.

Read Here for more Details.

  • So if I name it here, it will be accessible in the OS under sda/"name"? I named my swap partition on the same hdd "swap" so would the same apply to that? I wouldn't even need to access sda/swap though, right? – Willman Oct 3 '15 at 17:15
  • And what would be the point of naming the individual partition if the hdd's will already be separated as sda2 and sdb2? – Willman Oct 3 '15 at 17:18
  • There is no "point" in naming them, other than to make the names more human-readable. remembering sda1 and sda2 is not hard to keep track of, but if you are running a server with multiple hard drives and using the drives for different purposes, i.e. originals and backup versions of files, it might make it easier. You shouldn't need to access the swap partition directly. Truthfully I never name them, and using the default assigned numbers is a good way to reinforce how the system works for a beginner. – user241585 Oct 3 '15 at 17:50
  • I just saw in the partition setup that there are both "Name:" and "Label:" fields... quite confusing. I'm familiar with disk labeling, but this "naming" thing just seems redundant. – Willman Oct 3 '15 at 17:53
  • 1
    @Willman42 --- nothing guarantee that sda and sdb will stay the same forever. If you add another disk they could change. On the other hand, labels and UUID will never change. If doing complex things, or the hardware can change, the best thing is mounting by UUID --- which I think it's the default in linux. – Rmano Oct 3 '15 at 19:02

The problem is that the device names as /dev/sda and /dev/sdb can change: add a disk to the system and the names can be easily messed up.

Labels will not change, as the UUID (unique identifier) for disks. To avoid problems, when you install a new Ubuntu system normally the disks and partition are mounted/recognized by their UUID, and not the device name; look at my /etc/fstab:

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
# / was on /dev/sda1 during installation
UUID=0dfa0702-cb80-417c-b06e-5c946216d174 /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
# /home was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=12fa4e6a-6a16-4d4d-84bb-9bbdfae8e0a1 /home           ext4    defaults        0       2
# swap was on /dev/sda3 during installation
UUID=3773a8fb-fdbc-4e77-8358-7fa5ed65cc5f none            swap    sw              0       0

You can use the labels if you prefer, with label= if you have them (at least, I think). See also https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Persistent_block_device_naming

  • So the "Name:" field equates to the UUID of the disk and the "Label:" field would be the label? But the article says that the UUID's are randomly generated and unique, so if I specify a name (UUID) how would that be any different than a label, other than that it won't show in the dev/disk/by-label directory? – Willman Oct 3 '15 at 22:02
  • No, you shouldn't change the UUID. It will change alone if you reformat the partition, though; and you can set it if you know what you're doing. Name and label should be the same thing. – – Rmano Oct 4 '15 at 8:52

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